fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Margret Irebor <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 14:54:56 +0100
Subject: Good day
Iâm Mrs. Margaret Irebo, 51years old affected with breast cancer,
the wife of late Mr. Irebo, the Director of Alfa Gold Mines Ltd.
I am contacting you because of my health condition, I need a reliable
person, who will handle this project accordingly, accomplish my
heart's desire and utilize this fund. I have decided to donate the sum
Five Million Two Hundred Thousand
United State Dollars Only ($5,200,000.00) to Charity Organizations or
to support the Orphans, Motherless Babies, Less privileged and free
Medical & Medicine Poor People around the World since I don t have
any child and do not want the bank to take over the fund. I don't really
know if i am going to survive this stage, therefore if you're ready to
handle this project, kindly respond so that i will give you the bank
contact to transfer the fund to your account. Contact me only if you
Mrs. Margaret Irebo